By Rob Ketcham
The Cullman Times
Cold Springs’ Logan Campbell has been caught in the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s crosshairs quite a bit this season, filling a finalist position one week and earning mentions in practically all the others.
Late Monday night, however, the senior signal-caller played second fiddle to no one, grabbing the ASWA’s Defense/Special Teams Player of the Week award all for himself following an out-of-this-world first half in last Friday’s 54-30 home win over R.C. Hatch.
Campbell went crazy in pretty much every possible aspect, contributing 307 total yards by the break to send the Eagles well on their way to the victory. In just two quarters, the speedster managed to return a punt 50 yards for a touchdown, return an interception 55 yards on the game’s third play, return a kickoff 55 yards, rush for 104 yards and two scores, and throw for 43 yards and another pair of touchdowns.
Impressive, right? Cold Springs coach Rod Elliott sure thought so.
“Logan has made plays for us all year long,” he told The Times after the game. “He has been explosive for us, which has been a big thing.”
Campbell faced some stiff competition for the top honor in finalists Issac Albaradei and Jackson Tate.
Albaradei kicked three field goals, including an 18-yarder in overtime, in Tuscaloosa County 23-20 win over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa. Tate returned a punt 71 yards for a touchdown and blocked a punt that a teammate returned 30 yards for a score in Edgewood Academy’s 52-14 victory against East Memorial.
Cullman’s Tyler Glenn, Mason Jones and Maison Goodwin, Fairview’s Austin Harris and Bailey Strong, Good Hope’s Sebastion Fendley, Hanceville’s Brontae Harris and Vinemont’s John Michael Dye made the “other outstanding individual performances” section of the ASWA’s weekly release.
Glenn, the Bearcats’ trusty quarterback, didn’t throw a touchdown, but he did catch one, hauling in a 7-yard scoring strike from wide receiver Auston Neal with 32 seconds on the clock to the lift the Black and Gold over Athens 16-13. The senior finished the night 26 of 40 for 250 passing yards, including 62 yards on the game-winning drive.
Jones caught consecutive passes of 18, 27 and 7 yards on that final possession to close his night on offense with nine receptions for 122 yards. The fun-loving senior hit the field for one play on defense, too, intercepting Athens’ last-ditch Hail Mary as time expired to help Cullman clinch a first-round playoff game.
Goodwin was as equally remarkable as his wide receiving counterpart. The junior had eight catches for 70 yards in the first half and 11 for 106 overall, none more important than a 12-yarder on fourth down for just enough — an inch would would even be generous — to move the chains and spark the Bearcat O on its way to the comeback.
With their playoff lives at stake, Harris took care of business on offense and Strong on defense to help the Aggies pull off a 43-42 thriller at home against Sardis. The former gained 160 rushing yards, scored twice on the ground and ran in the go-ahead, two-point conversion with less than a minute to play, while the latter iced the victory in the final seconds by pulling down an interception in the end zone.
No one’s been able to slow down Hanceville’s Harris for quite some time now. The two-way threat had yet another night to remember, rushing for 189 yards on 18 carries, including a 40-yard scoring scamper, in the Bulldogs’ 41-7 runaway road win over Danville.
In Hanceville’s last four games, Harris has piled on 741 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.
One week after putting a bit too much zip on many of his passes, Fendley returned to his usual top form, having a hand in all five of the Raiders’ touchdowns in a 35-7 home win versus Cordova. The senior signal-caller was 16 of 24 for 267 passing yards and four touchdowns to go along with nine carries for 136 rushing yards and another score. Fendley accounted for 395 of Good Hope’s 518 total yards of offense.
Dye was a running machine in Vinemont’s 35-6 loss to Winfield, churning out 202 yards and the Eagles’ lone touchdown on 27 carries. He also caught three passes for 13 yards.
All nine of the aforementioned local players were included in the “other top performances” portion of the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Prep Spotlight release for Week 8, as were Cullman’s Garrett Crider, Seth Donaldson and Neal, Fairview’s Hayden Maples, Hanceville’s B.J. Smalls and Good Hope’s Alex Cofer.
Neal wasn’t the only Bearcat not named Glenn to throw a touchdown in the Black and Gold’s back-and-forth battle with Athens. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Crider, a running back, launched a pass down the right sideline for Donaldson, who masterfully outmaneuvered and outmuscled his defender to secure possession and sprint untouched for the 74-yard score.
Maples added another solid outing to his junior resume, throwing for three touchdowns and more than 220 yards in the Aggies’ must-win contest.
Smalls joined Harris in the Hanceville backfield as triple-digit rushers, collecting 116 yards on just 11 carries, including an 11-yard touchdown, in the Bulldogs’ sixth straight win. Hanceville had a whopping 375 rushing yards in the victory.
Last, but definitely not least, was Cofer, who continued to commandeer the Raider defense with 13 tackles in the Red and White’s third win in as many weeks.
The ASWA’s Offensive Player of the Week was Jacksonville Christian’s Daylon Brackett, who accounted for 565 yards of total offense and eight touchdowns in a 62-48 victory over Coosa Christian. He threw for 384 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 181 yards and the other four scores.
Brackett’s offensive outburst overshadowed the individual performances of Barbour County’s Daquan Guice and Geraldine’s Marcus Davis.
Guice rushed for 351 yards and scored on runs of 80, 12, 7 and 45 yards in a 51-8 win against Montgomery Catholic. Davis rolled up 332 yards on 20 attempts and a pair of 38-yard touchdown runs, as the Bulldogs rushed for 724 yards in a 77-43 victory versus J.B. Pennington.
That record-breaking game between Geraldine and J.B. Pennington was awarded the AHSAA’s Prep Spotlight.
The 120 total points tied for ninth all-time in the AHSAA record books with Phillips and Mt. Hope. The teams combined for 1,262 total yards, which ranks second all-time behind Cordova and Trinity’s 1,266-yard total in 2008. The 724 rushing yards by Geraldine ranks second all-time behind Parrish’s 806 yards in 2003.
The Bulldogs were led by Davis, while J.B. Pennington was paced by Brandon Butts. The quarterback finished with 513 total yards, completing 29 of 49 passes for 457 yards and three touchdowns and rushing six times for 56 yards and another score. Fourteen of those throws were caught by Hunter Etheredge, who had two touchdowns and an eye-popping 298 receiving yards.
Butts’ pass completions place him in a tie for 14th all-time, his yardage 16th and total offense 11th. Etheredge’s 14 receptions ties him for 13th all-time. His yardage ranks tied for fourth.
% The ASWA’s Josh Bean and AHSAA’s Ron Ingram contributed to this report.